Rebecca Armstrong: I'd be very happy if you stopped asking if I was OK

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  • @RebeccaJ

If you were bobbing along quite happily with your day and someone kept asking you if you were all right, again and again and again and again, your answer might reasonably be "I'd be absolutely OVER THE MOON if you stopped asking me if I was OK". I feel much the same way about the endless customer service surveys that are clogging up the already furred arteries of my ageing email system.

A quick count from the last week shows about 10 companies that I have bought online from or sorted services through are desperate to know what I thought of them. Some of them ask straight out what I thought of them, others try to sweeten the pill with a bit of bribery ("Answer this and win a £20 voucher" or "you have another chance to win back what you bought!"). Given that I love a good moan about terrible service, you'd think I'd be happily clicking through the multiple-choice answers and having a high old time.

But when service is good, I no more think about relaying this to a company than I would thanking a drinks dispenser for furnishing me with a can of coke. It's just doing its job, I'm just buying my beverage, we don't need to get into dialogue about it. But equally, if I've had shocking service, I was a direct way of making my ire felt – not the faceless passivity of an Identikit survey email, but someone to sort things out (in terms of the drinks-machine analogy, a swift but firm kick to the mechanism).

Really, who has the time or the inclination to fill these endless things in? Even at work I'm not safe – the kind man from the IT department who fixed the issue of noise blaring out of my PC's speakers whenever I clicked on anything interesting did a great job. But that's his job, and mine is to be features editor, not the doofus filling out the IT support survey when I have work to do on my newly non-noisy computer.

And as for Ticket Master disguising its customer feedback email as an invitation for me to review the gig – well Ticket Master, I had a lovely time in Hyde Park, with a charming mother and daughter called Christine and Emma. Then my inbox got clogged up with survey spam. Nought stars.